A dental implant is a replacement for natural tooth when you lose it because of any damage or decay. These are inserted inside the dentary boneof an individual by the use of screw like structures. These play a role of an anchor on which an artificial tooth known as a crown is placed. The artificial tooth is connected to the dental implant by the help of a device called as abutment.
The artificial tooth or crown is customized according to the person mouth in which it is to be inserted o that it looks and feels like a natural tooth. The crown matches the color of your own teeth and works just like them too.
Implants are a better alternative to a denture (removable artificial tooth) as they have various advantages including:
- They look like your natural teeth
- They more comfortable
- You have a low risk of developing cavities
- The implants do not need to be removed and cleaned every night
- Your chewing function is improved if you have implants rather than dentures
- Dental implants can better maintain the bone at the lost tooth site
- You do not feel any sensitivity in other teeth[i]
Although they have many benefits but they might not suit every person. It is important that your dentary boneis healthy and the implants attach with the bone of your jaw. Only then can you undergo an implant procedure.
Typically two known classes of dental implants are present including endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants.
- The more common type among these two is the endosteal implant. These are embedded into an individual’s dentary boneand each implant can hold more artificial teeth.
- The less common type subperiosteal dental implant is affixed above your jawbone. This option is mostly used in those people whose dentary bone does not have a suitable height.
The dental implants are mostly considered to be safe with a failure rate of only 10 to 15 %. Upto 3 million individuals have implants in the U.S. This number elevates to about 5 lakh per year. Although this surgery is very safe however it requires a very experienced and highly qualified surgeon to perform this procedure. Furthermore this is the only option for dental restoration that stimulates the growth and keeps your dentary bone healthy.
Risks with dental implant operation
As already stated above not everyone is eligible to get dental implant operation. There are various risks associated with surgery. Some of the cases in which this procedure cannot be performed include:
- Individuals with acute illness
- People having infection in the dentary boneor soft tissues
- People having metabolic diseases that are not controllable
Surgery can be done after these problems have been resolved and the person is healthy.
Some other situations in which the dental surgeons avoid performing the surgery include:
- People who smoke heavily
- People having AIDS or HIV
- A person who is diabetic
- Individuals with parafunctional habits (grinding teeth or clenching them)
- Individuals with psychiatric disorders
If individuals with any of the above undergo dental implant operation, there is a higher risk of the implant failing. Some other circumstance in which there is a risk or complications after a dental implant procedure include:
People undergoing radiation therapy for cancer treatment
People having chemotherapeutic agents
Patients undergoing treatment with bisphosphonate drugs for bone loss
Potential complications during or after implant surgery
Some of the complications that might occur during or after an implant procedure are as follows:
- Occurrence of infection at the site of implant
- On opening of incision after the surgery
- Dislocation of the implant
- Damage to nerves leading sensitivity at the surgical area
Some signs of implant failure include:
- Excessive movement of the implant
- Pain if the implant is tapped
- Secretion of pus from the implant site
- Rapid bone loss that is progressive
There are different factors that may affect your dental implant experience. Various factors that influence your implant surgery include:
- The location of jaw in which the implant has to be inserted
- How many teeth you need to be replaced
- The quality of the jaw bone where implant has to be embedded
- The quantity of bone available for implant
- The health of the patient needing an implant
The procedures that may be included in the surgery are stated below:
Sometimes the embedment of an implant becomes difficult due to the location of your sinuses. For this the surgeon may have to conduct the procedure of sinus augmentation. In this process, the floor of the sinuses is lifted up to allow the development of bone for the implant.
In some cases, an abnormal dentary bonemay prevent the implant procedure as there is not enough bone for inserting the implant. For correcting this ridge modification procedure is performed. In this process, the gums are lifted to expose the deformed bone and repaired thereby improving the quality of the jawbone.[ii]
- Some simple steps that are necessary for the maintenance of dental implants include:
- Brushing your teeth regularly and properly
- Flossing on regular basis
- Taking care of the artificial teeth in the same way you take care of your natural teeth
- Keeping oral hygiene
- Making follow-up visits to your dentist according to the schedule to make sure that the implants are healthy and not having any problems
- Visit your dentist for professional cleaning at least every 6 months
Different factors have an impact on how much the cost is charged for an implant procedure. These include:
The location at which the implant has to be inserted
The number of implant and their type to be used
Any additional procedures to be performed (sinus augmentation/ridge modification)
However the costs of dental implants is usually higher than that of the other procedures like bridges, dentures but they have their pros and cons. Unlike dentures they are permanent and do not need to be replaced that saves a lot of your money. Long-term advantages of dental implants make them a more suitable tooth replacement option. Top of Form